|dc.description.abstract||The role of the CFO is a hotly debated topic. Multiple articles have been written
on the subject. Some have advocated that the CFO is now firmly a strategic
partner in organisational life, while others see it as a financial cop, focused
solely on the financial matters resulting from the organisations activities. The
reason for such divided opinions is the result of numerous factors that have
instigated change on the role. Such factors include the globalisation of business,
IT and the movements towards a knowledge based economy.
The study found that these numerous factors are indeed causing changes in the
scope of the role. The changes they are instigating vary from factor to factor.
Globalisation is forcing the CFO’s to become more strategic in their thinking,
while the increased corporate governance and reporting burden resulting from
the financial scandals appears to be impeding the CFO’s value adding activities.
Changes in the role have impacted on the skills and characteristics that the
CFO’s require. The study highlighted that integrity was deemed the most
important, followed by financial expertise, strategic focus, leadership, and
Adopting a strict definition for the role of the CFO has been identified as
inappropriate. The research highlighted that the role exhibits many differing
traits to it. Some facets of the role involve strategic aspects, while others are
typical of the ‘financial cop-type’ work. An appreciation of the diversity in the
range and nature of the CFO’s tasks is required, as opposed strict definitions
such as strategic partner, or financial cop. The future of the CFO is far from
clear. While it may grow in its strategic influence within organisational life, the
‘financial cop-type’ traits of budgeting, project evaluation, and financial
reporting are also likely to remain somewhat present for the foreseeable future.||en